Fear is a killer: Nuclear expert reveals radiation’s real danger – energy

https://www.reddit.com/r/energy/comments/6av5ft/fear_is_a_killer_nuclear_expert_reveals/

Experience in Nagasaki, Chernobyl and Fukushima has taught Shunichi Yamashita that anxiety and disruption can hurt people far worse than radiation itself.

“Many people thought even a tiny amount of radiation was dangerous”

Mass screening done anywhere is bound to show up cancers that wouldn’t otherwise have been diagnosed. They have nothing to do with radiation, but the public and the media don’t understand this.

21 Comments

  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    It goes completely against what most believe, but out of all major energy sources, nuclear is the safest
    https://ourworldindata.org/what-is-the-safest-form-of-energy/

    One terrawatt-hour is roughly equivalent to the annual energy consumption of 12,400 US citizens. Although deaths from accidents and air pollution have been combined, it’s important to note that air-pollution related deaths are dominant. In the case of brown coal, coal, oil and gas, they account for greater than 99% of deaths, as well as 70% of nuclear-related deaths4, and all biomass-related deaths.

    We can see that brown coal and coal rate the worst when it comes to energy-related fatalities. Coal-fired power plants are a key source of sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, key precursors to ozone and particulate matter (PM) pollution, which can have an impact on human health, even at low concentrations.

    Reply
  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Russia Detects a Significant Radiation Spike In Mountains Close To Soviet-Era Nuclear Plant
    https://news.slashdot.org/story/17/11/21/2319252/russia-detects-a-significant-radiation-spike-in-mountains-close-to-soviet-era-nuclear-plant?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Slashdot%2Fslashdot%2Fto+%28%28Title%29Slashdot+%28rdf%29%29

    According to a report via The New York Times, Russia said that it had detected a significant radiation spike in the Ural Mountains, close to a sprawling Soviet-era nuclear plant still remembered as the site of an accident 60 years ago. Russia did however reject suggestions that it was the source of a radioactive cloud that hovered over Europe.

    The location of the spike — in the Chelyabinsk region near the border with Kazakhstan — has been identified by French and German nuclear safety institutions as a potential source for a concentration of a radioactive isotope called ruthenium 106 detected in the air in late September above several European countries. But nuclear energy authorities in Moscow insisted Monday that still-higher levels of atmospheric contamination had been detected outside Russia, in southeastern Europe.

    Russian radiation leak: everything you need to know
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/nov/21/russian-radiation-leak-everything-you-need-to-know

    ‘Extremely high’ levels of a radioactive isotope were discovered in parts of Russia in September. But where did it come from? And is it dangerous?

    Is it dangerous?

    The highest levels reported were 986 times the background levels, which sounds alarming. However, the background levels are close to zero and nuclear safety experts believe the leak is unlikely to pose a health risk or require people in the vicinity to be evacuated. Professor Paddy Regan, a nuclear expert at the University of Surrey told me: “The levels detected may be extremely high relatively to the background, but they’re not extremely dangerous.”
    How long will it stick around for?

    The half-life of Ru-106 is 374 days, meaning that in just over a year, half of the material will have decayed away. So the leak will still be detectable for five or six years, but it is unlikely to require any major environmental cleanup operation.

    Reply
  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Homes should not be abandoned after a big nuclear accident
    http://www.bristol.ac.uk/news/2017/november/nuclearaccident.html

    New research suggests that few people, if any, should be asked to leave their homes after a big nuclear accident, which is what happened in March 2011 following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.

    This is the main finding of a multi-university research study led by Philip Thomas, Professor of Risk Management at the University of Bristol, involving the universities of Manchester and Warwick, The Open University and City, University of London. The results are published in a special issue of Process Safety and Environmental Protection, a journal from the Institution of Chemical Engineers.

    Reply
  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    “Mass relocation is expensive and disruptive. But it is in danger of becoming established as the prime policy choice after a big nuclear accident. It should not be. Remediation should be the watchword for the decision maker, not relocation.”

    Source: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/news/2017/november/nuclearaccident.html

    Reply
  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Nuclear Waste Pt. 1: Fear is the mind-killer
    https://albertanuclearnucleus.ca/2019/02/22/nuclear-waste-pt-1-fear-is-the-mind-killer/?fbclid=IwAR34Yf3d9x4179oHc295ebCuro3YIyB7BeEEFNa2N5Dy28Yh-PlpbtlL_zY

    Something to make you feel unsafe or scared. Bright colours, visible warning signs, all things that point to those drums being filled with things that are horribly dangerous, and likely to leak out at any moment and poison the surrounding area à la The Simpsons. The reality is…

    Reply
  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    radioactivity is in the air for you and me…[LECTURE
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkdfG7XL8bs

    a comprehensive intro to nuclear physics, pushing the envelope…

    Reply
  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    It Sounds Crazy, But Fukushima, Chernobyl, And Three Mile Island Show Why Nuclear Is Inherently Safe
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelshellenberger/2019/03/11/it-sounds-crazy-but-fukushima-chernobyl-and-three-mile-island-show-why-nuclear-is-inherently-safe/#4623f7a41688

    Radiation from Chernobyl will kill, at most, 200 people, while the radiation from Fukushima and Three Mile Island will kill zero people.

    In other words, the main lesson that should be drawn from the worst nuclear accidents is that nuclear energy has always been inherently safe.

    Reply
  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    “What About Chernobyl?” Ranking World’s Deadliest Energy Accidents
    https://medium.com/generation-atomic/what-about-chernobyl-ranking-worlds-deadliest-energy-accidents-ca2fd7bb8d8e

    When nuclear power comes up, more often than not someone declares that all anyone needs to know can be said with one word: Chernobyl.

    But the big picture is vague, grey, and complex. The name of that place — Chernobyl — and the accident it’s irrevocably linked with, burns with a bright red focus in people’s minds. Chernobyl disaster might be the most famous accident in the world.

    What about workers and their families who were killed and whose homes were destroyed by gas explosions or coal mine fires, or the tens of thousands who have drowned after dam breakages? And what about the millions who die every year, in the non-accident that is the steady production of particulate air pollution?

    Chernobyl in context
    Chernobyl accident directly cost 31 lives, and caused some 106 injuries among the cleanup-workers and firemen. Further injuries include thousands of cases of thyroid cancer.

    Most of the cases are easily treatable and fatalities are expected to stay low — so far, 15 deaths from thyroid cancer have been connected to exposure from the accident. This figure may eventually reach 160

    If we compare direct death tolls of the largest energy accidents (graph), we quickly notice that there is one accident above others: the massive flood after the dam failure in Banqiao, China, in 1975.

    Reply
  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    What If You Fell Into a Spent Nuclear Fuel Pool?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mM-5DhIhYmQ

    Spent nuclear fuel pools are designed to cool fuel rods after they come out of a nuclear reactor. While powering a nuclear reactor, these fuel rods become very, very hot (2,800 degrees Celsius / 5,092 degrees Fahrenheit). After they spent 3 to 6 years inside of a nuclear reactor, fuel rods are no longer efficient. Problem is, they still emit plenty of harmful radiation, and they will for the next 10,000 years.

    Transcript and sources:
    https://insh.world/science/what-if-you-fell-into-a-spent-nuclear-fuel-pool/

    Reply
  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Accident Tolerant Fuel Cladding: Extreme Material Demands in Nuclear Reactors
    https://matmatch.com/blog/accident-tolerant-fuel-cladding-extreme-material-demands-in-nuclear-reactors/

    The release of radioactivity to the environment is a major threat to people’s health in the case of a nuclear accident. The most critical barrier to the release of radioactivity to the environment is the fuel cladding.

    The conventional Zircaloys discovered in the 1950s, with some modifications, are still being used as cladding materials in current reactors. Efforts are underway to find and test the alternative fuel cladding materials better than Zircaloy,

    Reply
  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Rocket Explodes During Test, Killing Two People
    https://www.iflscience.com/environment/a-russian-rocket-explodes-during-test-brief-radiation-leak-measured-after-how-bad-was-it/

    A rocket exploded on August 8 in the Russian military range of Nyonoksa, injuring four people and killing two. Russian’s defense ministry reported that the explosion caused a fire, but that no radioactive or toxic material was released.

    However, this doesn’t seem to match with what was measured in the city of Severodvinsk, 30 kilometers (19 miles) east of the naval base of Nyonoksa.

    Reply
  12. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Building nuclear weapons is easy. Cleaning up the radioactive waste is very, very hard.

    A Glass Nightmare: Cleaning Up the Cold War’s Nuclear Legacy at Hanford
    https://spectrum.ieee.org/aerospace/military/a-glass-nightmare-cleaning-up-the-cold-wars-nuclear-legacy-at-hanford

    At the Hanford Site in south-central Washington state, 177 giant tanks sit below the sandy soil, brimming with the radioactive remnants of 44 years of nuclear-materials production. From World War II through the Cold War, Hanford churned out plutonium for more than 60,000 nuclear weapons, including the atomic bomb that razed Nagasaki, Japan, in August 1945. The sprawling enterprise eventually contaminated the soil and groundwater and left behind 212 million liters of toxic waste

    Reply
  13. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Coal Ash Is More Radioactive Than Nuclear Waste
    By burning away all the pesky carbon and other impurities, coal power plants produce heaps of radiation
    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/coal-ash-is-more-radioactive-than-nuclear-waste/

    Reply
  14. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Fukushima radiation hasn’t killed anyone, but evacuation has.

    Fukushima radiation did not damage health of local people, UN says
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/mar/10/fukushima-meltdown-did-not-damage-health-un-japan

    ‘No adverse health effects’ detected despite three nuclear reactors being destroyed by an earthquake and tsunami in 2011

    Radiation caused by the nuclear meltdown in Fukushima a decade ago has not damaged the health of local people, according to a UN report.

    Gillian Hirth, chairwoman of the UN’s scientific committee on the effects of atomic radiation (Unscear), said that “no adverse health effects among Fukushima residents have been documented that could be directly attributed to radiation exposure from the accident” in March 2011.

    Reply
  15. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The energy in nuclear waste could power the U.S. for 100 years, but the technology was never commercialized
    https://www.cnbc.com/2022/06/02/nuclear-waste-us-could-power-the-us-for-100-years.html

    Reply
  16. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Aika hassua. Minä käsitin, että Vihreiden, Greenpeacen ja muiden alan toimijoiden mukaan ydinvoima oli ja on faktapohjaisesti ja todistetusti erittäin vaarallista, kallista, vanhanaikaista ja myös tarpeetonta. Jos näin todella olisi, silloin ydinvoimalle ei saisi antaa piiruakaan periksi vaan se pitäisi ehdottomasti kieltää kansainvälisin sopimuksin. Miten tuosta tilanteesta ja näkemyksestä on voitu päästä tilanteeseen, jossa se onkin jollain tavalla hyväksyttävää tai ei-tuomittavaa. Ovatko faktat muuttuneet?

    Ympäristöjärjestöjen ydinvoimavastustus on hiljentynyt – “Ydinvoimalat ovat osa Suomen energiapalettia, pitipä siitä tai ei”
    https://www.mtvuutiset.fi/artikkeli/ymparistojarjestojen-ydinvoimavastustus-on-hiljentynyt-ydinvoimalat-ovat-osa-suomen-energiapalettia-pitipa-siita-tai-ei/8516802#gs.cejrw3

    Laitosten konfliktialttius huolettaa järjestöjä.

    Ydinvoimaan kriittisesti suhtautuneet Suomen keskeiset ympäristöjärjestöt eivät koe asiaa enää uhkaavaksi, vaan osana ilmasto- ja energiakriisin ratkaisua. Greenpeace ja Suomen luonnonsuojeluliitto odottavat tuulivoimasta kuitenkin ydinvoimaa suurempaa ratkaisijaa.

    Ilmastokriisi ja Venäjän käymä energiasota Eurooppaa vastaan vaativat tehokkaita ja vähäpäästöisiä ratkaisuja energian tuottamiseksi. Ympäristöjärjestöjen kritiikin kohteena olleen ydinvoiman, ja erityisesti Olkiluoto 3 -ydinvoimalan, odotetaan helpottavan Suomen talven energiapulaa.

    “Kiista ei ole ajankohtainen”

    Ydinvoimaa vastustanut ympäristöjärjestö Greenpeace ei koe asiaa ajankohtaisena ongelmana Suomessa. Suurimpina huomion aiheina järjestössä nostetaan ilmastokriisin ratkaiseminen, päästöttömän energian lisääminen ja luonnon monimuotoisuuden kriisi.

    Greenpeacen uutena Suomen maajohtajana tänään aloittava Touko Sipiläinen kertoo suhtautuvansa ydinvoimaan käytännönläheisesti.

    – Kiista ydinvoimasta ei ole tällä hetkellä ajankohtainen energiapolitiikan ja ilmaston näkökulmasta, Sipiläinen sanoo.

    Ydinvoimalat koetaan Suomen Greenpeacella edelleen hitaaksi ja kalliiksi rakentaa. Olkiluodon ydinvoimalan viivästymiset ja nousseet kustannukset ovat osaltaan vaikuttaneet mielikuvan syntyyn.

    Sipiläisen mukaan heidän odotuksensa ovat voimakkaasti kasvavan tuulivoiman määrässä. Suomen kantaverkosta vastaava Fingrid vahvistaa tiedon, että tuulivoiman tuotantokapasiteetin odotetaan Suomessa ylittävän ydinvoiman vuoteen 2027 mennessä.

    – Päästövähennyksiä täytyy saada mahdollisimman nopeasti, jotta vältytään katastrofaaliselta lämpenemiseltä, Sipiläinen sanoo.

    Vaikka järjestöt ovat edelleen tuulivoiman kaltaisten uusiutuvien energiamuotojen kannalla, koetaan ydinvoima välttämättömäksi energiamuodoksi ympäristökriisin ratkaisussa.

    – Ydinvoimalat ovat olemassa oleva realiteetti. Ne ovat osa Suomen energiapalettia, pitipä siitä tai ei, Suomen luonnonsuojeluliiton toiminnanjohtaja Tapani Veistola sanoo.

    Reply

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